Star, Carnival Declare Victory In NCL Matter

Friday, February 11, 2000
Star Cruises and Carnival Corp. declared victory in a takeover bid for Norwegian cruise group NCL Holding, saying they controlled more than 90 percent of the shares. Arrasas Ltd., 60 percent owned by Star and 40 percent by Carnival, said it controlled 247.88 million shares, or 92.6 percent, of NCL under the $1.9 billion stock and debt takeover offer. Under Norwegian law, firms can force minority shareholders to accept a takeover offer by surpassing 90 percent control. Star and Carnival, the world's biggest cruise group, joined forces last month behind a 35 crowns per share offer for NCL. Carnival had previously launched a bidding battle in December by offering 30 crowns per share for NCL on its own. Star, which is strong in Asia and is the world's fifth largest cruise group, also aims to set up a joint marketing deal with Carnival, strongest in the United States and Europe. NCL is fourth biggest. The Star-Carnival offer expired on February 10. The two companies last week sacked the board of NCL and appointed a new leadership, headed by Oslo lawyer Ole Lund who is also chairman of state oil firm Statoil.

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